921 Tasting Notes

It is a beautiful day today, a strong breeze and cool air (though alas, not as cool as yesterday) a crisp blue sky, and the wonderful sound of leaves rustling around outside. I have my windows open (throwing caution to the wind regards to allergies!) and I am just loving the breeze, though I do admit it made varnishing my miniatures a real nightmare earlier. There is a 70% chance of storms this evening, and if it does storm, I will decry this a perfect day weather wise…start out snuggling in a sweater, finish in a t-shirt. Total win.

So, remember a while ago I mentioned MeiMei Fine Teas as a tea shop that would be opening soon? Well, good news everyone, they opened! So that means it is time to look at another one of their teas, specifically Meng Ding Sweet Dew (or Meng Ding Gan Lu) a gloriously fuzzy and very delicate green tea. Seriously the leaves are so tiny and curly, with a delicate coating of silver trichomes, they are very pretty little things. The aroma of the little leaves is very green and vegetal, strong notes of artichoke and asparagus mix with parsnip and greenbeans, with an addition of a sweet touch of sesame seeds and a crisp note of celery at the finish. I am pleased to announce while sniffing I did not manage to get any up my nose, victory!

I decided to brew these in my green tea pot, and not just because I tend to go giggly when I see the beautiful contrast of red clay and green leaves. The aroma of the less fuzzy but very vibrant leaves is a fresh burst of vegetal greenness. Notes of fresh spinach, celery, and artichoke with a distinct note of parsnip, which is entertaining since it is both sharp and sweet, and not a note I encounter very often. The liquid is a blend of parsnip, spinach, and a hint of sesame, just a touch on the sweet side and very green and fresh.

First steep is buttery while also being light, not a tea that coats the mouth, more like it dances on the tongue light as a breeze. It starts out surprisingly sweet, with notes of sesame seeds and honey, this moves to parsnips and spinach, the finish is where it is at though. Perhaps it is the placebo effect of the name, but the taste reminds me of the taste of morning dew off leaves, refreshing and clean. This pleases me.

Onward to the second steeping, the aroma is sweet and vegetal, sharp notes of parsnip and rich notes of spinach. The mouthfeel is a bit thicker this time, the taste does not really change from the previous steep, the parsnip and spinach notes with accompanying sweetness remain, but the notes are more intense this time around. The dew like cleanliness at the end is still there as well, but it is not stronger since stronger dew would be a bit odd.

Third steeping time! The aroma has a stronger parsnip note this time, sweet and sharp with a slight hint of greenness from spinach. The taste is very sweet this time, honey sesame and parsnip notes dominate with a lingering spinach note at the finish, no more dew this time, looks like the sun dried it up. This tea did not evolve very much over steeping, but I did not find myself bored, the tea tasted clean and so I went away from it feeling very refreshed.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/meimei-fine-teas-meng-ding-sweet-dew.html


Man, this sounds incredible!

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I took the most epic power nap yesterday, a 17 hour power nap! I think it was the blissfully cool air and cats that would not stop snuggling me that really caused this nap of epicness, it was as refreshing as a mountain spring on a hot day. I broke out one of my sweaters today, a great fuzzy thing with a huge cowl (or a food trough as I call it since you know, crumbs) and a strange slit going up the back that means I always need an undershirt, because why is there a back vent? It is thick and fluffy meaning not a sweater for a hot day…and if it is cool enough you need this sweater you will not appreciate the draft. Mysterious clothing design is mysterious.

Today I am looking at Tea From Vietnam’s Ta Xua Mountain Mist, a Maocha from high in the Ta Xua Mountains of Northwest Vietnam. A region, it is pointed out in the description, that borders Yunnan, that grand producer of some of my favorite teas. Honestly if I had no idea where this tea was from, I would wonder if it was a Yunnan green tea, because it has that distinct terroir notes that I recognize from teas in that region, part of the fun part of nature not really paying attention to country borders and just following geology (and weather patterns of course.) The notes I pick up from the dry leaves are woody and smoky with distinct notes of peaches and a touch of spinach. It has the aroma of a distant mountain forest fire, clean mineral heavy spring water, and ripe peaches, one of those teas where the name matches the description indeed!

I decided to brew thing grandpa style, a way I am much enamored of using for green teas from Yunnan, so why not try it with its close neighbor? There is just something very appealing about taking old mountain grown trees and tossing their fluffy leaves into a bowl and adding water, watching as they slowly plump up and unfurl, and blowing them around the bowl as I sip around them. Doubly so while doing so on a sunny morning while lying in bed reading, seriously it is a fantastic thing. Tasting this tea starts off gentle, distant smoke and clean mineral spring water with a distant note of peach. The longer it steeps the more the sweet peach and smoke notes come out, along with a touch of citrus and vegetal notes of steamed spinach and asparagus. After many refills of my bowl (great staying power) it finally faded to gentle mineral notes and a touch of lingering sweetness.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/tea-from-vietnam-ta-xua-mountain-mist.html

Flavors: Asparagus, Citrus, Mineral, Peach, Smoke, Spinach

Christina / BooksandTea

Man, that nap sounds awesome. This weekend was the first one that was cold enough for an extra layer, and it made me so happy to stay warm inside while it was cooler and crisper outside.

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Guys, I think next month I a going to break down and buy a camera. This saddens me for a few reasons, the first one being the death of a friend, see my camera was a gift from Ben when we were at Unistar. I was using a really crap camera to do nature photography, and more importantly to catalog all the fungi on this weird island to write a field guide. I needed a better camera desperately, so five years ago I got my Fujifilm S1800, my baby. But it is dying, after years of much love, and it is time to move on, I was hoping to get a super fancy one with the ability to switch out lenses, actually photograph lightning, and all those bells and whistles, but they are not cheap, that is like ‘save all my money for a year’ kinda new electronic. So I am compromising and going to probably get a Fujifilm S8630, it will take all my money next month (I swear I am never going to get new clothes after that dryer incident…priorities man, I has them) and will be great for my blog photography and basic nature photography. Compromises are not always bad!

Ok, enough about electronics, tea time! Today I a looking at Dachi Tea’s No 5 Verdant Valley Oolong, a Baozhong from beautiful Taiwan, just east of Taipei actually. If you get the chance, you should check out the website for this tea, it has a great aesthetic, but more importantly, it tells information about the tea and its grower, including a video interviewing Mr. Weng and showing the process of making the tea. If you are like me and find this stuff just wonderfully fascinating, then trust me, it is worth a look. Ah, Baozhong, this tea is a notorious flowery explosion, and these leaves do not disappoint. The aroma starts out with sweet honey and flower nectar, lots of spring flower notes of hyacinth, lilac, and a touch of honeysuckles. Along with the spring flowers is a gentle note of broken sweet hay and a tiny touch of nuttiness.

Brewing this tea is a lovely sensory experience, it is like spring wafting out of my teapot, fresh broken green vegetation (much like walking through a garden and gently crushing leaves as you walk) and of course flowers, hyacinth, lilac, and even a touch of slightly spicy Asiatic lily at the finish. The liquid is very sweet, a blend of honey and flower nectar and buttery green growth. It has a freshness to it, which is very evocative of springtime.

The first steep is smooth and buttery in its mouthfeel, it is refreshingly smooth without being thick. The taste starts out predictably sweet and floral, with strong notes of lilac and hyacinth. This initial flowery burst transitions to refreshing green vegetation, like crushed leaves and grass, with a slight vegetal buttery note. The finish is honey and it lingers for a while.

Typing with a lap full of a cold cat is hard. just a word to the wise. The aroma of the second steep is heady but light, it is like walking through my local formal garden at spring, so many hyacinths and lilacs blooming, I even get a bit of daffodil and lily as well. The taste is very rich, creamy and thick mouthfeel, and so sweet. There are notes of sweet honey and flower nectar, I feel like a butterfly drinking this stuff. The flowery notes moves to a slightly mineral spring rain storm and lush vegetation at the midtaste, with a finish of honey sweetness.

Third steeping time! Espeon is now using my notebook as a pillow, luckily not on the page I am trying to read! The aroma is buttery vegetation and flowery intensity, heady with all the blossoms, I feel like sinking into a bed of hyacinths and taking a nap surrounded by bees and butterflies. I am not a Disney princess, I swear. The taste this time is focusing on the green aspect of the tea, crushed rain covered vegetation and freshly harvested hay and straw. The finish is sweet and honey, with a lingering floral note. Usually I find Baozhong kinda fizzles out after four or so steeps, I ended up sitting with this one for a while, not sure if because this Baozhong was fresher or if it is a testament to its quality.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/dachi-tea-no-5-verdant-valley-oolong.html

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I might be going to the zoo tomorrow, how fun! It is a big might, see my local zoo sends out these coupons that allows two people free entry one day on a few randomly selected months, and September is one of those months. I am a bit stir crazy, but it seems every time I go out my ‘condition’ gets worse, exacerbated by my already annoying social anxiety, so now I am phobic of leaving the house. Fingers crossed, I want to go to the zoo, it is one of my great joys. Now if only the somewhat tiny ‘chainstore’ version of the local aquarium would give out free passes, oh I would spend all day with the fishes!!

So, tea time! Today I am talking about What-Cha’s Vietnam Wild ‘Mountain Mist’ Silver Needle White Tea, a White Tea from the Assamica varietal, plucked from possibly up to 800 year old trees grown in the Yen Bai Province of Vietnam and harvested by the H’mong Ethnic People. This fancy tea was sourced by Geoff Hopkins of Hatvala, a company whose mission is to spread the word of Vietnamese teas, something you guys probably know I am a fan of. The aroma of the gently fuzzy needles (they have a slight curl to them) is a fascinating blend of sweetness in the form of peaches and green melon, green in the form of cucumber and a touch of celery, and a hint of smoke. The name Mountain Mist is fitting, the aroma is light and airy, crisp and clean, with a wispy hint of distant hearth fires, it is evocative of the environment it was grown.

Into my steeping vessels the leaves went, it took a while for the water to permeate the fuzzy trichome sheath turning the leaves plump and green. The aroma of the wet leaves is an even blend of cucumbers, green melons, watermelon rind, and smoke. It leans more towards cooling vegetal than sweet. The liquid smells sweet and refreshing, blending melon rind, honeydew, and cucumber.

The first steep is intensely cooling! That is very refreshing, starting in the belly and spreading out to my fingers, remind me to keep this stashed away for next time I have a fever! It is very light and clean, reminds me very much of rain water in the mountains. The taste starts with gentle smoke and then moves to melon and peaches with a finish of cucumbers and distant flowers. It is almost effervescent in its lightness.

I went for a second steep, the aroma has a stronger smoke note and a crisp barely ripe peach note as well. It is still potently cooling, though not quite as much so as the first steep, the taste has a slightly astringent edge to it this time, while still being light and airy. Sweet peach, smoke, and melons mix together, with a slightly gentle smoke aftertaste. This was quite the unique tea!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/what-cha-vietnam-wild-mountain-mist.html

Christina / BooksandTea

I’m sorry to hear about your social anxiety. Maybe it will help to think that since school is now back in session, it won’t be as full of families with kids?


Thanks, it is not so much the people, it is the ‘leaving the safety of my house’ good ol’ fashion agoraphobia. Usually it is not that bad, but after having a couple seizures while out and public, it has flared up again.

Chances are all the pretty animals will distract me enough though ;)


Still you write so darn well, Soggy, your writing is beautiful.

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Good morning all, and by good morning I mean it is 10 PM, yep, sleep schedule went all pear shaped again, but I honestly don’t care overly much. It currently is where I go to sleep late in the afternoon meaning I can still do things early in the day. No matter how nocturnal I am, it will always be a tad uncanny to wake up at night, guess I am not that hardcore! It used to weird me out when I worked night shift, especially in the winter, I would go to sleep when it was dark and wake up when it was dark, it skews the sense of time ever so slightly.

Today is an Oolong day, looking at Tao Tea Leaf’s Bei Dou Oolong. This is a not quite as well known as its cousins Yancha (or Wuyi Rock Oolong) whose name translates to North Star (must resist Fist of the North Star references, must resist!) This Yancha was first created in the 1950s, grown from cuttings taken from THE original very old Da Hong Pao bushes, the very ones that an emperor thought needed a fancy red robe. The creator of this tea, Yao Ye Ming had his research lab destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (thanks, guys, I really could go into such a rant about how revolutions that destroy art, history, religious things and science infuriate me, but I shall spare you all) but he continued in secret, Bei Dou surviving, allowing us to enjoy this tea scientist’s work. The appearance is a typical Yancha, curling and dark, and the aroma sings the song of its people, rich and loaded with char. Strong notes of cocoa, char, a distinct smoke along with the char, and a nice underlying sweetness. The more I sniff while waiting for the water to heat, I also detect a bit of nuttiness, but it is more like a nutshell, the sharp aroma of black walnut shell.

I have to apologize for the lack of photos. My camera corrupted the images, on the camera they look fine but after uploading they are unable to view, I desperately need a new camera, hopefully I can get one before it dies and this becomes a very sad blog. Help! I don’t want to just use my phone! Into my yixing the leaves go for their short steep. The aroma takes on a bunch more layers now that it is a pile of soggy leaves, along side the notes of char and cocoa are delicate notes of distant flowers, wet slate, cooked stone fruit, and a finish of black walnuts (not the shell this time.) The liquid is a three way tie between stone fruit (more plum than cherry, but there is a cherry hint too) wet slate, and char. At the finish is a distant crushed orchid sweetness as well.

First steeping time, the first thing I notice is the strong mineral presence, this Yancha puts the rock in rock oolong and I love that. Seriously, it reminds me of licking rocks, a hobby I have on occasion, since they have their own distinct flavors, wet slate and quartz being among my favorites. After that initial mineral burst the taste moves to a blend of cocoa and char with a touch of sweetness, the finish is woody and has a building sweetness that reminds me a bit of jaggery.

Onward to the next steep, I feel a pleasant tingling from the last steeping, Yancha has such great Qi! The aroma is roasty toasty, notes of char and smoke with roasted black walnuts and mineral, there is also an underlying sweetness like burnt sugar at the finish. The taste this time is less char and more burnt toast, there is a definite bready note to the empyreumatic notes this time. There is also a strong mineral presence and cocoa, again the finish is like jaggery with also a touch of lingering dark chocolate. I now want to melt dark chocolate and jaggery and drink it.

Third steeping time, the aroma is mostly gentle char, toast, and mineral. A hint of underlying sweetness remains, but the aroma is not as potent as before. Whoa, where did the mineral and char go? I am left with a smooth mouth full of jaggery, dates, cooked plums, and a touch of cocoa. I think the tea became sad that I wanted melted chocolate so turned on the sweetness factor in a plea to not leave. Don’t worry tea, I won’t leave. I got one more steep before it fizzled out, usually I find Yancha ends in mineral, so I found it fascinating that this one started with mineral and ended in sweetness.

For blog and photo: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/tao-tea-leaf-bei-dou-oolong-tea-premium.html


i love this tea . yum

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Well, my sleep schedule has gotten a bit confused. New meds and my monthly bout of weird sleep schedule flipping means that I was up til like 2pm this afternoon, and then slept til 8pm. It is very disorienting waking up at night, even me being nocturnal a lot, I prefer late afternoon wake ups. When I was a kid, my favorite thing was the time I didn’t go to work with my family, because it meant that I got to sleep til late in the afternoon, one of the reason I have worked a lot of night shift jobs in my past. I am a night owl…clearly that means I need an owl teapet!

Recently Teavivre introduced a line of herbal teas, this idea intrigued me because they seem to be mostly flower based, tea friends…I have a weakness for drinking flowery teas. When I was younger (wow, lots of younger days stories) I would gather up the edible flowers from my mom’s garden and make teas from them, they were usually loaded with sugar and more like flowery syrup, but I loved them. This love has not died, and is very fitting for Bucolic Jasmine Herbal Tea, a blend of Jasmine, Roses, Chrysanthemum, Osmanthus, and Stevia leaves. If you know from my history of tea rambling, jasmine, rose, and osmanthus are probably some of my favorite flowery notes, so this sounds fun. The aroma is a summer day in a garden, very heady and sweet, strong notes of roses and jasmine with a moderate sweet osmanthus note. The finish is a gentle sweet honey and that hay spiciness that is chrysanthemum.

Into my steeping vessel the tea goes, making me both happy and sad. Sad because the beautiful and vibrant flowers always look so sad when they are steeped, no color and floppy. Happy because it smells really good, like a room of blooming roses and jasmine, with a distant hint of osmanthus. I hope the osmanthus is not overshadowed because it is probably my favorite flower to have as a tea. The liquid is a bit more mellow, the three main flowers are balanced and the chrysanthemum adds a tiny hint at the end.

Ah stevia, you are such a fun thing. It is very sweet and distinct, having a natural sweetness similar to sugar but with more in common with licorice with its lingering sweetness, I like stevia leaves. That is the first thing I noticed, the stevia sweetness, then jasmine and rose, lots of jasmine and rose. Towards the middle and end there is osmanthus with a finish of gentle green and lingering sweetness. I did not really taste chrysanthemum, and other than smelling it a bit, I would not have known it was in there. I steeped it twice since the website recommends it and it was pretty bland, most the taste was in the first steep. I liked it, this is a tea that is unassuming enough I can sip it when I am feeling off and want something flowery without being overwhelmed.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/teavivre-bucolic-jasmine-herbal-tea-tea.html

Flavors: Jasmine, Osmanthus, Rose, Straw, Sweet


I dislike stevia! But I will have to check out the other herbals based on this review and see if there are some without it, because now I want some!


Stevia is ok in very tiny doses. I got a bottle dropper of it and sometimes I literally put in one drop. It can get rather sickening quickly.


I go a big nope nope nope on Stevia drops and extract (or distillation, whatever the process is there) it is just sooo sickeningly sweet. The plant itself is delicious though, I find it has some of the same taste with much milder sweetness. I have a friend who grows it and I munch on the leaves when I visit :P

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It is Friday night and I am sitting in my chair confused. Not really confused, but stuck trying to decide what to do with my night. My new meds seem to be helping, so in typical me fashion I want to do all the things I have neglected lately…but on the other hand I still feel not quite right, and moving around too much is very tiring. I am hoping once my body gets used to the new meds the side effects will ease off, if I remember correctly from taking these as a teenager (much higher dosage for a different problem) some of them do, and when the dosage is low most of them went away. But man, does it ever feel good to have that weird electrical edge taken off, it was getting really old. I think that maybe I will paint, or game, or I might take a nap. I am, as ever, a total party animal.

Today we are looking at another Tea From Vietnam, specifically their Fish Hook Tea, a Green Tea whose shape is said to look like a fish hook. You know, I can totally see that, the leaves are quite curled and dainty looking. They are grown in Thai Nguyen, what is considered the best location to grow green tea in Vietnam, and these specifically come from a small garden in Tan Cuong located in the southern part of Thai Nguyen. The aroma of the dark green leaves is nutty and vegetal, notes of slightly sweet sesame seeds and rice, with an accompaniment of greenbeans, asparagus, and savory sauteed bok choy. It smells like food, like a sauce-less stir fry of tasty greens and rice.

Into my teapot the leaves go for their nice short bath, I mean really short (for a green) the steeping guide recommends 5 seconds and even though usually I take brewing instructions with a grain of salt, when they are that short I tend to at the very least pay attention for the first time. The aroma reminds me exactly of one of my favorite Japanese dishes, of all things, Ohitashi. Basically it is boiled spinach with sesame seeds and some seasoning, now I do not get the bonito notes (thankfully, that would be a little too weird) though I do get the savory soy notes and definitely a ton of steamed spinach and sesame seeds. The liquid is nice and strong, notes of spinach, edamame, rice, and sesame, tea smells like food, and I am so ok with that.

The first steep is smooth and surprisingly cooling, not like a Sheng Puerh, but it has a gentle cooling quality. This is a savory tea starting out with a strong spinach and edamame note, moving on to turnip greens and asparagus, and finishing with gentle rice. This tea has a definite vegetal oomph to it, with just the gentlest sweet note at the end with the rice.

Second steep brings on the spinach, along with edamame and sesame seeds, though even stronger, it is super intense and very green. You know, for all my love of strongly vegetal teas, I really dislike drinking straight vegetable juice and smoothies, and I dislike kale in any smoothie, no relevant to anything, just thought I would share. This steep looked at the previous steep and was like ‘what, that was the best you can do? Crank that past 11!’ and took the notes of the previous steep and amped it to the max. It is super vegetal and surprisingly not bitter, you would think with these levels of intense veggies there would be bitterness, but nope, just gentle cooling and sweetness at the finish.

The third steep decided to scale back with the vegetal notes, bringing in stronger notes of rice and sesame seeds to compliment the spinach and edamame. The taste, well, I think it felt embarrassed by its vegetal over-exuberance, which is totally not necessary, so it sent int this note of sweetness and balanced itself out. With the strong notes of spinach and turnip greens, there is gentle nutty sweetness and a touch of freshly broken hay and grass. It adds a bit of nuance to the green explosion of the previous steeps. I kept going for a few steeps after this one, it was never quite as bombastic as the second steep, but it maintained a steady vegetal presence up through the end.

For Blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/tea-from-vietnam-fish-hook-tea-tea.html

Flavors: Green, Nutty, Rice, Soybean, Spinach, Vegetal

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Ok guys, tomorrow is the big day, I go to see a Neurologist, something I should have done a long time ago. With luck they can do something about my seizures and headaches tomorrow, if not, well, life carries on and I shall adapt, as I always have. I just realized that made me sound quite deep and introspective, oops! Bah, enough of that, last night while playing Terraria I killed Plantera three times, I am quite pleased with myself. Tonight I am taking a break from Terraria to work on something else, maybe, the siren’s call of gaming might overwhelm me.

Before my last What-Cha order, I noticed that Alistair had added a bunch of Yunnan teas, especially those oh so tempting fuzzy golden ones, so I got a bunch of samples to try. Also China Yunnan Simao Golden Needle Black Tea, I took a gamble and bought a full sized pouch, something I very rarely ever do, I learned earl on in my tea loving life that samples are the best way to go (except with Puerh, that is a very rocky road there!) because sometimes you buy a larger pile of tea and end up stuck with something you don’t like. I would have been very shocked to be disappointed by this tea, I have had Simao black/red teas before, and it was sublime, Simao has a certain something that makes for a happy me. The aroma of the fuzzy golden needles is rich and sweet, ah, so distinctly ‘Yunnan’ to me, notes of molasses, yams, roasted peanuts, caramelized sugar, cocoa and a fun finishing note of plum. I love how these different Yunnan red teas have similarities and yet each one has its own unique flair, this one makes itself standout using stronger roasted peanuts and plum.

You know, there is a reason that the fuzzy teas from Yunnan are my go to morning tea…and occasionally afternoon tea, they are just so yummy! I only ever had one I didn’t like and that was because there was something wrong with it, but that is a different story. This is story of some needles that have been thoroughly steeped! The aroma of the soggy needles is intensely rich, like whoa I need to sit down that is rich, strong notes of yams and malt blend with cocoa and caramel. It is very sweet, mouthwateringly so. The liquid is rich with notes of cocoa, roasted peanuts, honey and malt, I am filled with anticipatory glee.

Ok, now that I am mostly done drooling, it is time to enjoy the fruits of my steeping. The opening steep is smooth and sweet, and a touch gentle. This is not a first steep that is a bold intro, this is a gentle beginning to a story, like the difference between Mass Effect 1 & 2’s opening. It starts out very sweet, like honey and a touch of caramelized sugar, this moves to toasted peanuts and molasses, and finishes off with lingering yams.

The aroma of the second steep is a blend of malt and caramel, a touch of distant smoke joins in as well. It is still a very smooth tea, but it is less gentle this time around, I would go as far as to say this tea is now full bodied. It starts with sweet honey and toasted peanuts, then it moves to rich malt and molasses. Like before the finish is lingering yams with just a hint of smoke.

Third steep! The aroma is less sweet, more like yams and squash with a touch of smoke and peanuts. The taste is surprisingly (or not so, really) not as sweet, full on robust and rich, strong notes of yam and roasted peanuts, with acorn squash and a touch of molasses. The finish is malty and honey sweet, that sweetness lingers for a while. This is what I want as a wake up tea, it starts gentle and finishes with an oomph, by the time the robust mouth explosion starts I am fully awake and ready to enjoy the intense tastes rather than the light nuances of wakefullness. And now, to decide if I am going to work on my research project…or play Terraria.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/what-cha-china-yunnan-simao-golden.html

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I decided to be a real showoff last night, and I am immensely pleased it worked out. Ben has had to hear my complaining about boss fights in Terraria for a while now, they are the bane of my existence in that game, and having recently heard my lamenting of the Mechanical Bosses, I needed to redeem myself. It is hilarious how in Terraria once you beat a boss and get an upgrade, they suddenly become a cake walk, so I summoned all three in one night and killed them with time to spare! Sadly I am going to have to upgrade my armor before I can take on Plantera, so the spider queen will have to not have quite so many spiders. Always tragic when you have to have fewer spiders fighting for you. I will be going green with Chlorophyte Armor, specifically the ranger set, though I will have to retire my Daedalus Stormbow for that fight, which makes me immensely sad, that bow is the best thing ever.

Today I am taking a look at a tea that kinda changed how I thought about tea. Well, not this very specific tea, but the same tea type. Glorious green Anji Bai Cha by Tao Leaf Tea, a green tea from Anji, China, land of beautiful bamboo forests and apparently some famous historical bridges I just learned. Anji Bai Cha is the tea that taught me to be more adventurous with my tea brewing, to think outside of the gaiwan and to just toss some leaves in a bowl and see what happens. Specifically this is the tea that introduced me to the fine art of glass steeping, aka throw some leaves in a clear glass, add water, and enjoy the eye candy. Whether you pour off part of the liquid and drink from a glass or from the steeping glass itself is up to you. The aroma of the delicate and fuzzy leaves is very vegetal, notes of edamame, lima beans, crisp and fresh bell peppers, mix with wildflower honey, pollen, and a very gentle nuttiness. The aroma is not overwhelming or very potent, it is gentle and green, like a summer morning.

For the first steeping I decided to decant some of the tea into a glass, too many leaves floating on the top, makes for harder sipping! The aroma of the leaves and tea mixed together in my elegant new glass (pretty sure my friends accidentally made off with my previous glass….glass) is vegetal and nutty. Delicious notes of edamame, bell pepper, kohlrabi (do not get that one often) cooked broccoli, and a sweet butter bean and lima bean finish.

The tea starts out richly vegetal and sweet, a smooth and gently tingly mouthfeel (hello trichomes) makes this a refreshing beginning. I love Anji Bai Cha because it always tastes so clean, and I do not mean as in other teas are pesticide covered or something like, I mean clean like a mountain stream or first snow, it is a purity in its flavor notes, having them blend while being distinctly separate. It is a tea that never tastes muddled to me. The notes that are present start with honey and chestnut and move towards bell peppers and lima beans, with a gentle spiciness at the finish.

As I top off the glass with more water, most of the now very plump leaves have floated to the bottom, so I can enjoy the tea by drinking it straight from the glass. It starts out fairly similar to the first steeping, but the longer it sits the more intense the vegetal notes become, bringing in cooked broccoli, cooked and raw bell pepper, lima and green beans, and has a finish of sesame seeds and honey. Even later on the only bitterness that is ever present is similar to Brussels sprouts, so it is very light (unless you are one of those people that hates Brussels sprouts, I am not) and I find very tasty.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/09/tao-leaf-tea-anji-bai-cha-green-tea-tea.html

Flavors: Bell Pepper, Broccoli, Chestnut, Honey, Lima Beans


Lovely review my dear!

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I am a nerdy, obsessive, crafty, tea blogging, gaming nut. Yeah, that about sums me up! Ok, you want something more informative….

I am a Geek, hardcore fan-girl Geek. It shapes my life. I spend a large chunk of my life painting miniatures and contemplating my various army layouts. I hoard dice, get obsessed with games, and will talk about whatever fandom, game, etc that I am obsessed over until I am blue in the face. I am not just a gamer girl type Geek, I also fit in the collecting knowledge and spending way too much time reading and researching category of Geek.

But there is more to me than just being a giant nerd. I love tea, always have and have just gotten more and more obsessed as I get older. I love trying new teas and then writing lengthy descriptions about them on my blog, I love reading and researching the history and culture of tea, I love collecting tea pots and fancy tea tools.

When the weather allows it, I love to go mushroom hunting. I don’t eat them, instead I use them for photography and spore prints. I love nature and worked as a Naturalist in the Northwoods one summer, it might have been the best job ever.

I have Fibromyalgia, it sucks, but I feel people who are going to interact with me should know since I tend to vanish because of it so fair warning! I do tend to not vanish very long though. Also I have some ‘social disorders’ which basically translates to I am really awkward and bad at socializing, so forgive any lack of social graces.

I also have cats, love the ocean and all aquatic life, have teal hair, love cheese, and collect hats.

My favorite tea is definitely Oolong, but I also love Japanese greens and…ok I just love tea actually :P I am not a huge fan of lemony black teas or tart fruit teas. I also loathe hibiscus (usually)

This is my actual tea wishlist, you know that I actually update and keep track of…I tend to forget Steepster’s https://www.facebook.com/notes/amanda-wilson/tea-wishlishtshopping-list-perpetually-in-progress/10152336515414411 I use my steepster WL to keep track of teas I have had and really want more of :P


Kansas City, MO



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